Divorce: Italian Style Pietro Germi

Ferdinando (Marcello Mastroianni) has grown tired of his wife (Daniela Rocca). She annoyingly begs for his love and attention in bed, and her laugh is enough to make your skin crawl. Fancying himself still desirable to younger women, Ferdinando turns his attention to a much sexier and younger woman named Anglea (Stefania Sandrelli), who also happens to be his 16-year-old cousin, but that doesn't phase him. Our unlikely hero has to find a way to rid himself of Rosalia, his smothering wife, but thanks to his Catholicism, a divorce isn't possible. Ferdinando realises that the only way out of this domestic nightmare is to off Rosalia, but the prison sentence would spoil his chances of landing Angela, unless the murder was carried out in a moment of temporary insanity, induced when finding his wife in the arms of another man. This 1961 film follows Ferdinando as he tries to locate a man who can be seduced by Rosalia's hips, leading to many clever and downright brilliant moments of comedy, usually carried out by the amazing performance by Mastroianni. Divorce: Italian Style is filled with great moments of subtle comedy and somehow manages to make us side with Ferdinando, as we encourage his chauvinistic plotting. The DVD comes with a second disc of extras, but they aren't the most engaging featurettes for a fantastic film. Interviews with Sandrelli and Lando Buzzanca make reflections about working on the set fairly interesting, but critic Mario Sesti's over-analysis makes you want to take a nap. His actual stab at directing a documentary on director Germi's career is equally pillow-worthy, but original screen tests with Sandrelli and Rocca, as well as a quick but insightful interview with screenwriter Ennio De Concini, are the saving grace to an otherwise disappointing selection of features. (Criterion/Morningstar)